Time for Meaning by Randy Bomer. Crafting Literate Lives in Middle
Time for Meaning

Time for Meaning

Crafting Literate Lives in Middle & High School

By Randy Bomer

    What a refreshing treat of a book! This is an honest, personal, and very enlightening view of one teacher and his students. Time for Meaning reads like a novel, a poem, a short story, an autobiography—all that is good in literature—while providing examples of how to teach writing effectively . . . Read Time for Meaning, become a student, and graduate from the school of reading and writing instruction with honors.
    —Writing Teacher

Time for Meaning brings a bold curriculum to the writing workshop, a curriculum that honors literary thinking and the study of literature. Randy Bomer speaks...

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Full Description

    What a refreshing treat of a book! This is an honest, personal, and very enlightening view of one teacher and his students. Time for Meaning reads like a novel, a poem, a short story, an autobiography—all that is good in literature—while providing examples of how to teach writing effectively . . . Read Time for Meaning, become a student, and graduate from the school of reading and writing instruction with honors.
    —Writing Teacher

Time for Meaning brings a bold curriculum to the writing workshop, a curriculum that honors literary thinking and the study of literature. Randy Bomer speaks eloquently and honestly about his own experiences in the classroom: his successive stages of revision, his growth from a good to a better teacher. He encourages inquiry into more reflective practice, inviting you to examine your ways of thinking, your relationship to the "subject of English," your standards for good teaching, your place in the professional community, and most significant, your attitude toward time.

Time for Meaning is both thoughtful and practical. It confronts the realities of today's classrooms: overcrowded curriculums, unfriendly colleagues, choppy schedules, and resistant learners. Bomer suggests ways to transform these obstacles into opportunities to rethink the true purpose, meaning, and design of literacy education. He offers guidelines for:

  • helping students choose topics that are important to them- so important that they'll have the energy to work through the writing process
  • prompting initial responses to literature and moving toward polished pieces of writing
  • using writing as a tool for thinking and inquiring—an essential habit of mind for students to develop
  • understanding what makes for poor student research writing and how to improve it
  • planning curriculums that focus on story in fiction and memoir.

Since time is so often the crucial issue in teaching, Bomer asks you to examine your attitudes toward time and the way you use it. He writes, "What we do with time is what we do with our lives. When we are 'unable' to spend time on what we most value, it is because we have not found a clarity of purpose. We have lost our maps, lost our rudder, and we drift aimlessly, as if time were not passing, as if this teaching life were not ours to live."

Bomer is specific and persuasive without being prescriptive. Time for Meaning is a snapshot of his current thinking, a report on work that has already benefited many teachers. It speaks as powerfully to experienced reading/writing process teachers as it does to newcomers.

Contents

Contents:
1.
Choosing My Teaching Time and Possibility
2. Creating Literate Environments in Secondary School Literacy Classrooms Time and Intention
3. Writers Notebooks: Tools for Thinking and Living Time and Writing
4. Moving from Private Thoughts to Performance Time and Meaning Making
5. Corridors of Meaning: Classroom Arrangements for Becoming Better Readers Time and Growth
6. A Place in the Conversation: Writing Literature in Response to Literature Time and a Sense of Project
7. A Curriculum for English: Seasons of Inquiry into Making Things Schooltime and Lifetimes
8. Fiction: Building a World of Possibilities Time and Story 9. Making Something of Our Lives: Reading and Writing Memoir Time and Memory
10. Making Sense of Nonfiction Time and Truth
11. More than Magic: Elements of Craft in the Teaching of Literacy Time and Teachers' Lives
12. The Extracurricular Life of an English Teacher Time for Meaning